On the consumer hard drive market there are two main options that are available. These are hard disk drives (HDD) or solid disk drives (SSD). The latter is the newer technology and is often considered to be the superior of the two. The HDD has been around for almost fifty years now and will be what you find inside most computers out there at the moment. They have the benefit of being cheap and only continue to drop in price. So do you go with the cheaper option, or is it worth splashing the cash for the more expensive SSD? This article will explore the pros and cons of each type of drive.
Inside a hard drive is a spinning platter that stores all of the data, above which a read-and-write head hovers above in order to read the contents. A solid state drive, on the other hand, has no moving parts and uses a memory chip, similar to what’s inside USB drive. Because it has no moving parts, it can store data without using any power, which is very beneficial to those laptop users on the go.
On top of this, there’s no waiting around with an SSD. While on a HDD the platters need to spin up before your data can be accessed, an SSD is up to 30% files at opening files as it doesn’t have to do this process. Additionally, this lack of motion can lead to less failure. A common problem with a standard hard drive is damage to the platters, which are very delicate. If the computer is dropped or has a strong vibration go through it then it could cause the head to scratch the platter, leading to data loss. Hard drives haven’t remained the same, though, and they have advanced to protect against this; despite that, it still remains an issue.
Here’s the kicker: buying a SSD drive will set you back a lot more than a HDD will. For every gigabyte, SSD costs $1.50 and it’s about $0.10 for a HDD. Both of these are dropping in price as time goes on, but the simple fact is that if you compare a SSD and HDD drive of the same size then the hard drive will be significantly cheaper. If you need a lot of storage space, whether it be for videos or games, and have a tight budget, then a HDD will be your best bet. The money you save could be implemented in other computer components, like the CPU, which will offer more noticeable improvements. One consideration could be to get a small SSD to install your operating system on, which would lead to a faster boot up time. You could then get a larger HDD to store all your primary data on. This is a more cost effective solution for those who can’t afford a large SSD drive, but still want to see some of the benefits offered by the format.
At the end of the day, a solid state drive is superior technically and they will become the standard over time (unless another technology is introduced to supersede it), but at the moment it isn’t cost effective for the standard consumer.
SSD Disks vs HDD Disks: A Comparison
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